The Uniting Time

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Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Ephesians 4:13

In recent years, the world has been crying for unity like never before. As long-standing alliances fracture, individual nations disintegrate, and families fragment, our world demands understanding. And yet, the gaps between us seem to widen each day. What does the Bible say about all this? How can we, as members of Christ’s body, resist the division and fulfill God’s call to unite ourselves? In today’s lesson, we’ll address these two themes.

Looking back

I often refer to the antediluvian world because Jesus predicted that society would be the same just before his return as it was before the Flood. Then as now the world was bitterly divided and the division ended in the planet’s destruction. Let’s take a closer look.

Sons of God & Daughters of Men

A close reading of Genesis 6 shows that two main family groups existed on the earth—sons of God and the daughters of men. There has literally been millennia of debate as to what this term sons of God (literally b’nai Elohim or Sons of Elohim) means in this context. With respect, I disagree with many of the historians—such as Josephus and Philo of Alexandria— who believe that these sons of God were fallen angels. I do this for two reasons:

First: it is unreasonable to think that angelic beings (who are spirits as per Hebrews 1:7) would be enticed into sexual relationships with mortal women. Second: the term sons of God is often used in Judaism to refer to the lineage of Seth. While this became more common in the 2nd century AD, there is definitely a wealth of rabbinic literature dating before Christ as well as Scriptural references that associate the phrase sons of God with human beings (Deut. 14:1, Hos. 2:1, Is. 43:6, Ps. 82:6 etc).

I’d like to point out that Seth’s line had sons while Cain’s line had a multitude of daughters. This is a historic anomaly which is why it’s in the Bible. Historically, globally speaking, there has almost always been a greater number of men on the planet than women. This is part due to the dangers of childbirth and the lower life expectancy for women than men (up until recent times).

To give this some perspective, from 1000-1348 AD, there was a global population increase. Despite this, it was not unusual to have a ratio of 120 men to 100 women in Europe. Most men lived to about 30-35 years while women died, on average, at around 25-30. While we don’t have specific demographics in the Bible era, it is likely that the sex ratio was even higher from looking at the number of men drawn up for battle throughout the Old Testament.

But the reverse was true in the times of Noah (see Gen. 6:1). We don’t know why there was a genetic divide in the times of the Flood but it probably had to do with the scientific slant that Cain’s side adopted. As we know, genetic engineering is a very powerful modern phenomena. It is possible that Cain’s line began to design beautiful women using gene-editing technology similar to CRISPR. If daughters were seen as desirable in Cain’s line, you can imagine what wealth, power, and prestige would be associated with having the most beautiful woman of all.

When you think of our modern Miss Universe, Miss America and other myriads of beauty contests–as well as the incredible amount of wealth the fashion industry generates–this doesn’t seem so outlandish. After all, remember humans never change. And Jesus predicted that the world at the end would be the same as it was before the Flood. I believe that quite literally.

Over time, the incredible beauty of these women became irresistible to the sons of Seth. How could their own natural women compete with the technologically enhanced capabilities of Cain’s line? And so, a great uniting began.

The problem

The issue was never one of race. It was one of faith. Today, all the issues that plague our global society come down to one basic problem–doubting God’s Word. No matter how much we try to unite ourselves, if one person doubts God the whole system will fall apart.

For doubt makes us self-seeking. We question God’s promise and try to have a backup plan “just in case.” Because we’re all self-seeking by nature, one person’s solution to a problem actually causes a problem for someone else. This creates conflict and division.

To give a real-world example. During the pandemic, some influential ministries advocated streaming their online ministries as a solution to worried believers. This might have been a blessing to some but it caused immense problems for other ministers who lost segments of their congregation to those with more influence.

Again, one person’s solution is another’s problem.

God’s solution

With this background, we might well wonder how we can ever come into the “unity of the faith” spoken of in our text.

Well, I’m so glad to say that, while we humans can never find a solution to anything, God provides the solution. For Abraham who struggled with finding a sacrifice that could take the place of his son, Jehovah-Jireh–the God who Sees–provided an answer.

For Hagar who staggered alone in the wilderness, God provided an answer.

For Joshua, Martha, Cornelius, Paul and Silas, and myriads of others who could not find a solution to a problem standing in the way—God provides the answer.

The problem of human unity is nothing for Him. For He unites us to HIMSELF and then each other. Let me explain. Christianity was initially intended to be a means of uniting the world. It was a radical religion. For the first time, it didn’t matter if you were rich or poor. Your race didn’t matter. Your gender didn’t matter. Whatever religion you were before, whatever lifestyle you lived, none of it mattered because you could now become a NEW creature in Jesus Christ.

Slave and free were equal. Men and women could both approach God with the same assurance that they would be heard. This was true freedom!

But, in the centuries that followed, the Christian message became twisted into something else. Men and women who hungered for power realized that religion, as always, is a means of controlling the masses. Instead of grace, ritual became common in Christianity. It became complicated to be a Christian. People lived in fear of displeasing God and the ministry dominated the people.

As power became consolidated into the hands of a few, the Christian message of unity became a tool of division. If you didn’t believe like someone else, you were “out of the kingdom.” Over the past 2,000 years, Christianity has been a prime contributor to millions of deaths and suffering. Was this what God intended?

Not at all.

But it is what we choose.

So, as we near the coming of Jesus Christ, something has to change to bring us into a unity that reflects His own oneness with us.

What is the unity of the faith?

The unity that Paul writes about is not a collection of sermons. Nor is it a set teaching. Nor is it a forced unity that follows organizational lines. If we are being honest, these things have served to divide and isolate us from others who don’t believe exactly what we believe.

So what does the Bible mean? Exactly what it says. A unity of faith. Just as doubt is the source of division so faith is the source of unity. Each member of Christ’s body will be united by transforming experience to Jesus Christ.

This uniting time occurs at Christ’s return. At Christ’s return the Elect of God around the world merge into a deeper unity. It is a literal uniting with Him and with each other. It is a uniting with the redeemed who have already gone into His presence. It is a merging of one people, Jew and non-Jew, into a glorious new family.

Then, and only then, will the five-fold ministry that God has initiated be no longer necessary. For the uniting of Bride and Bridegroom will have taken place and the Wedding Supper of the Lamb will begin.

Uniting During the Great Millennium

I mentioned on Sunday that God will have no distinction between Jews and non-Jews in this world that is to come. That those of us who have no families here in Christ will have a husband, wife, and family in the Millennium or the 1,000 year reign of Christ. I’d like to back that up with even more Scripture than I provided on Sunday because I know it probably challenged some of what you’ve believed.

In Romans 11, Paul writes:

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root[b] of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches.

Romans 11:17-18

This is such an important reminder, especially for those of you who may have felt that Israel was a servant to God while you are placed as a son. Let me caution against arrogance and state clearly that Jesus Christ is also referred to as the Servant of God (Isaiah 53:11) and yet He is THE Son of God.

We Gentiles will be grafted into Israel during the Millennium much like Ruth and Rahab were “grafted in” and placed into families. I cannot begin to express how much joy it gives me to know that no one will be alone in that world. So press on and love God with all your heart. A great time of uniting is just ahead.

Closing remarks

The scriptures predict that the world will continue to divide as humans continue to be “lovers of their own selves” (2 Tim. 3:2) and the family structure disintegrates (Malachi 3 and 4). Isolationism and estrangement will continue to plague lives even as people become more religious and think they are getting closer to God. But do not let that become your story.

Deepen your connection with Christ and remember that His coming obliterates the divisions of humanity and ushers in a brand new beginning of unity.

What is faith?

Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.

Mark 11:23
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In this verse, the Lord Jesus clearly shows us the power of faith. All Christians want faith and want to see it at work in their life. But it is difficult for faith to really do all it can do in your life unless you understand what faith is. Truly, it’s impossible to explain something as supernatural as faith. God makes it that way because faith itself cannot be explained. But we can get a better understanding of what faith is and how it works by comparing it to things we do understand. In this post, we’ll comb through the word to understand three characteristics of faith.

Faith is a house

All houses have something in common–a foundation. Big or small, there has to be a firm basis upon which the weight of the house can rest. Faith is the same. For us Christians, the foundation of our faith is the Bible, the Word of God.

In this aspect, faith is a choice. You choose to accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God. No one can teach you that. No one can make you think like that. As an individual, you make the choice to accept the Bible as God’s Word regardless of what sociologists, scientists, archaeologists or theologians etc. might say.

This is because God’s Spirit expresses to your heart that the Scriptures are the product of His thinking. This in an inexplicable interaction between God and you. It anchors the Word to your heart and transforms your mental outlook.

But even though God starts this process, you choose to accept his Word of life or reject it. In Matthew 7, Jesus taught a parable in which a wise man built his house upon the rock (faith) and it resisted the storms. The choice to put God’s Word into practice is what proved the wise man’s faith was real.Like I said, faith is a choice. Its foundation is the Bible.

But faith is like a house in another way as well. Just like you build a house, so you will either build or tear down your faith. The friends you keep, the entertainment you enjoy, the ideas that are presented to you in school, advertisements, and society in general are all either going to tear down or build up your faith.

While we cannot control what messages society sends to us, we must be on guard and make sure that we’re not quietly letting them erode the rock-solid foundation upon which our faith was built. Over time, Christians often let social messages or earthly priorities–like large crowds, dynamic speakers, and excellent acoustics–impress them. While there’s nothing wrong with these things per se, if they are what attracts us, it is a sign that we are becoming focused on doubt instead of faith.

Faith looks at the unseen cloud of witnesses that Hebrews 11 says surrounds us. Doubt focuses on the senses (the amount of people we can physically count).

It is our responsibility to make sure our faith is being built and reinforced. Otherwise our house will automatically be torn down.

Faith is a highway

Let’s look at faith another way. Faith is a channel, or a highway, that connects you and God. The ancient Persian empire developed a network of roads that allowed mail to travel from Europe to Susa (about 2,400 miles) in about a week. Ideas, trade, and mail flowed back and forth along the Royal Road. Faith is a highway that allows our prayers to flow up to God and His power to flow down to us.

The entire Bible is filled with examples of God doing supernatural things in the life of men, women, and children who took advantage of this highway. When we align ourselves with God in this channel, we become part of His divine program. Then anything becomes possible. Not because of us but simply because God’s power is on the highway, moving toward us.

This is not emotion. Faith isn’t emotion. There’s nothing emotional about a highway, right? We can feel good while cruising on the highway but our emotions aren’t what’s taking you places. You get somewhere in your journey because there’s a road beneath you and you’ve got a vehicle–which we’ll call the Name of Jesus Christ–that’s designed to get you to where you need to go.

Emotions are good. I love little better than the feel of the road humming beneath me. But my emotions alone won’t get me anywhere. Let’s focus on faith, the highway, and the emotions will automatically follow. Does that make sense?

Now, what happens if there’s an accident or a roadblock?

My wife and I were recently on the Autobahn in Germany. There’s no speed limit in certain sections. But, in literally less than 30 seconds, we went from doing about 120 mph to zero. Why? Because of an accident that shut down the road.

There was nothing wrong with the highway nor with our vehicle. But because there was an obstacle, we couldn’t move forward.

The same happens with our faith. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with our faith per se, but there are obstacles in the way that need to be removed so the power of God can keep hurtling down the road. You need to do what the German authorities did. Investigate what’s going on and remove the roadblock ASAP so divine traffic can keep flowing!

Is there unconfessed sin that’s keeping you from believing? Or sometimes, it’s just Satan trying to get you impatient and make you give up. He tried that with Daniel, remember (Daniel 10)? Whatever the situation, don’t let doubt block up the road.

Choose to believe.

Faith is transformative

The Bible shows us that everything was made by faith (Hebrews 11:1). God believed His own creative word would come to pass. The result was the ground that you walk on, the gravity that holds you to the earth, and the air in your lungs. Everything that makes up creation came as a result of faith.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Creation didn’t exist. Faith brought things that were not into existence. It is transformative. Jesus taught us this principle when He said that faith can move mountains. We don’t move mountains to show off. Or to see if it will really happen.

That’s not faith.

Faith knows the will of God and speaks only what is necessary to bring it to pass. For example, the faith that created this world brought it into existence because it was part of God’s eternal plan. The earth had to exist for the Father to place Adam and Eve upon it. Trees had to exist for God’s Son to be crucified. All of creation had to exist for the Holy Spirit filled sons and daughters to work for the glory of God.

Faith brought God’s will into existence. Nothing more and nothing less.

David faced off with Goliath because God’s Word had already stated that the children of Israel were to be conquerors. Because Goliath wasn’t a circumcised believer, he did not have access to the same covenant that David did.

So David transformed the circumstance.

From a boasting giant, Goliath became a headless giant. Why? Because David knew what God wanted to be done and aligned himself with the will of God, then spoke to the giant.

1 Samuel 17 shows us that David promised to cut off the giant’s head so that “all the world will know there is a God in Israel.” Did it happen?



Because faith is transformative.

But to have that kind of faith we need to know what God wants. Only then will we be able to move beyond emotion and move mountains.

Closing thoughts

Faith is something that cannot be explained. It is a supernatural reality that defies logic and brings the power of God into our life to change our circumstances. It’s like a house that must have a strong foundation in the Scripture, must be built up, and maintained. Faith is like a highway that connects you to God. As your prayers go to God on the highway of faith, his power comes back down to you. Be sure there are no roadblocks that can stop progress. Finally, faith comes when the will of God is made known. Then we act on that will and change the situation that stands in our way.

Words to live by

1 John 5:4

James 5:13

1 John 5:14

The Final Days

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As Christians, we believe that Jesus Christ is our example and we are to “follow in His steps.” We also believe that we are in the final days of this world. How should we conduct ourselves? What needs to be done? Christ’s example in the last hours of his life provide us with insights that we should apply today. In this podcast, I will identify three things that Christ focused on that are relevant and needful for us to follow in these final days.

Finish the work

The book of John in chapters 13-17 details the conversations that Jesus had with His disciples before His crucifixion. His words provided instruction, comfort, warnings and encouragement. Everything was done so that they “would not fall away” as He said in John 16:1. Instead of focusing on His forthcoming death, Christ focused on finishing Hi work of preparing the disciples.

What an example to us! So often we’re enticed to focus on our own misery or problems. But God wants us to focus on accomplishing what He’s put us here to do—proclaiming the Gospel and living a spiritually restored Word-life.

If Satan can get you to lose your focus, your service to Christ will be incomplete. Always remember: focus on the mission. Nothing else matters.

In John 17:4, just before His arrest, Jesus clearly stated that His work was done. His work of calling, strengthening, and preparing the members of His spiritual body was now complete. But this work had been accomplished by a physical, earthly body seeking out and ministering to other humans (the disciples) who were members of His spiritual body.

Here again we see what we are called to do in these final days. We must be busy:

  1. Finding the members of Christ’s body who are lost in sin
  2. Strengthening those members once they’ve been reconciled to God.

Realize, my brothers and sisters, that you were not saved to minister to yourself. According to the Book of Ephesians chapter 4, we are all here to strengthen each other in the faith of God. In fact, in one sense, our very spiritual survival depends on each other. We are called a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5). In your natural home, the beams in the walls are supported by the floor. The walls support the ceiling. The beams in the roof support the roof itself. Everything is supported by the foundation.

Ask yourself: do you actively work to strengthen your brothers and sisters in this Christian faith? Do you participate in church social events which are necessary for strong bonds? How are you inspiring them? Are you bombarding heaven with your prayers? Inquiring about their welfare and working to resolve their problems? Or are you lost in a world of your own?

Relationships are formed by constantly being together–in good and bad times. Bonds are strengthened by constant interaction and broken by isolation. In basic military training, cadets sleep in the same rooms, shower in groups, and even use the toilet without privacy guards between stalls. The lack of individual privacy forges one unit that fights, bleeds, and dies for each other.

For some reason, Christ’s spiritual army struggles with this concept.

We cannot afford to become lost in our own life. This is what our enemy wants. This is his method of “divide and conquer”, the same tool the Roman empire notoriously used to destroy its enemies.

In the final days, Satan purposes to distract believers from strengthening each other by inundating their own life with personal problems and selfish motives. Ultimately the entire church is weakened.

Jesus showed us that we must combat this by deliberately minimizing our own situations and actively engaging with each other in as many physical and spiritual ways as possible


But Jesus didn’t just prepare His disciples; He also prepared Himself for what lay ahead. John relates that Jesus spent much time in prayer, wrestling through until His earthly body was able to endure the trial that lay ahead.

It’s no easy thing to know when you’re going to die. Most of us don’t like to think about our death. In fact, we change the words to songs like “I’ll fly away” so that we sing “I’ll not die, I’ll be raptured by and by.” But Jesus faced His death in the same way He faced life—head-on.

Yes, He struggled with it as any human would. But He focused on getting Himself ready for what lay ahead.

Now, I will say that we live in the closing hours of the world and many of us may indeed be alive for the coming of the Lord. But whether you’re awake or asleep when He comes, my question is this: how are you preparing yourself?

I find it helpful to think about where you are right now. Do you feel perfectly ready to meet Him? Is the Spirit of God, which is Eternal life, burning in your soul? Ireneus, who we consider to be a messenger of God, once wrote:

“The business of the Christian is nothing else but to be ever preparing for death.”

How often Satan gets us focused on so many other things that we don’t realize that our death—and the death of this world—is inching steadily closer heartbeat by heartbeat.

Are there:

  1. Things you’ve left unsaid or undone
  2. Wrongs for which you need to apologize
  3. Things you want to accomplish before you leave this world
  4. Debts, wills, other important legal considerations you need to resolve
  5. Family issues that need to be settled

We may not see this as being self-preparation but, again, the goal is to have nothing unresolved when you are called from this world. We live in a time where nuclear bombs can ignite our drought-ridden planet at any moment. Where death stalks each neighborhood on a regular basis.

Like Jesus, in the final days, work to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. That way, whether He comes for you or comes for us all, you’ll be ready.

Give full testimony

Finally, Jesus gave clear testimony of who He was in the final hours of His life. In Gethsemane, His captors asked for Jesus of Nazareth and He responded by saying “I am He” twice. Before Caiaphas, He identified Himself as the Son of Man. Before Pilate, He identified Himself as the King.

He gave clear witness, or a full testimony, of what He believed. It didn’t matter whether or not they believed. What mattered was that the witness was given. And notice that the testimony He gave with His words was backed up by His life when He rose from the dead on Easter morning.

We’ve been given an opportunity in these last days. In a world of unbelief, we’re called to give full testimony of our faith. Christ commands us to be His witnesses unto the end of the world, unto the end of the age. This is to be spoken by our mouths and backed up by our life. Words alone are not enough. Dedicate your life to fulfilling this calling.

If you do this, God will vindicate you as He did Jesus and raise you up with Him.

Live it!

Today I identified three aspects of Christ’s ministry in the last days and showed how we are to do the same in the last days of this world. We must:

  1. Finish the work He’s given us to reach out to those outside the faith while actively strenghtening those within it.
  2. Prepare ourselves to meet Him
  3. Give full testimony of what we believe